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Concept# Sheaf (mathematics)

Summary

In mathematics, a sheaf (: sheaves) is a tool for systematically tracking data (such as sets, abelian groups, rings) attached to the open sets of a topological space and defined locally with regard to them. For example, for each open set, the data could be the ring of continuous functions defined on that open set. Such data is well behaved in that it can be restricted to smaller open sets, and also the data assigned to an open set is equivalent to all collections of compatible data assigned to collections of smaller open sets covering the original open set (intuitively, every piece of data is the sum of its parts).
The field of mathematics that studies sheaves is called sheaf theory.
Sheaves are understood conceptually as general and abstract objects. Their correct definition is rather technical. They are specifically defined as sheaves of sets or as sheaves of rings, for example, depending on the type of data assigned to the open sets.
There are also maps (or morphisms) from one sheaf to another; sheaves (of a specific type, such as sheaves of abelian groups) with their morphisms on a fixed topological space form a . On the other hand, to each continuous map there is associated both a , taking sheaves and their morphisms on the domain to sheaves and morphisms on the codomain, and an operating in the opposite direction. These functors, and certain variants of them, are essential parts of sheaf theory.
Due to their general nature and versatility, sheaves have several applications in topology and especially in algebraic and differential geometry. First, geometric structures such as that of a differentiable manifold or a scheme can be expressed in terms of a sheaf of rings on the space. In such contexts, several geometric constructions such as vector bundles or divisors are naturally specified in terms of sheaves. Second, sheaves provide the framework for a very general cohomology theory, which encompasses also the "usual" topological cohomology theories such as singular cohomology.

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Sheaf (mathematics)

In mathematics, a sheaf (: sheaves) is a tool for systematically tracking data (such as sets, abelian groups, rings) attached to the open sets of a topological space and defined locally with regard to them. For example, for each open set, the data could be the ring of continuous functions defined on that open set. Such data is well behaved in that it can be restricted to smaller open sets, and also the data assigned to an open set is equivalent to all collections of compatible data assigned to collections of smaller open sets covering the original open set (intuitively, every piece of data is the sum of its parts).

Cohomology

In mathematics, specifically in homology theory and algebraic topology, cohomology is a general term for a sequence of abelian groups, usually one associated with a topological space, often defined from a cochain complex. Cohomology can be viewed as a method of assigning richer algebraic invariants to a space than homology. Some versions of cohomology arise by dualizing the construction of homology. In other words, cochains are functions on the group of chains in homology theory.

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Alexander Grothendieck (ˈgroʊtəndiːk; ˌalɛˈksandɐ ˈɡʁoːtn̩ˌdiːk; ɡʁɔtɛndik; 28 March 1928 – 13 November 2014) was a French mathematician who became the leading figure in the creation of modern algebraic geometry. His research extended the scope of the field and added elements of commutative algebra, homological algebra, sheaf theory, and to its foundations, while his so-called "relative" perspective led to revolutionary advances in many areas of pure mathematics. He is considered by many to be the greatest mathematician of the twentieth century.

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